Me and Star Wars
Watching Star Wars movies was a special family time. We had the VHS box set of the original trilogy. Later, we got the prequel trilogy on DVD. During winter vacation, we would watch them in a marathon every year or two. I loved the lightsabers, and would pretend I had one with a plastic toy sword.
I was 7-8 when Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. It was around that time that I got my first LEGO magazines and catalogues. Star Wars sets were featured on the front cover of the first catalogue I received. From then on, my love for LEGOs and Star Wars combined. When we did the movie marathon, I would get my Star Wars LEGO sets and set them next to me while watching.
When Episode II: Attack of the Clones came out, it was also featured in the LEGO magazines. I collected sets from the mini-fighter line. My family never went to the movie theaters, so we had to wait until they came out on VHS/DVD so we could rent them. One night, I was in bed, wondering when we were going to be able to see Episode II. Then I hear my parents watching something on TV. It sounded weird, but I could recognize some of the words, like “Jedi”. It dawned on me that they were watching it! I was so excited. They were previewing it before letting me and my brother see it. Soon after, we got to watch it (while my dad fast-forwarded the romance scenes).
I was a big Star Wars geek. I memorized the names of people, places, and ships. I collected images of them. Star Wars was a big inspiration for my creativity and imagination.
In high school, the most exciting thing that happened was being able to play the LEGO Star Wars video game. I was given a graphics card by helping set up the school computer lab. I put it in my mom’s classroom computer. My parents were both teachers, and so we had to go to school early before it started. I would spend that time playing the game.
After Disney acquired Star Wars and released Episodes 7-9, I didn’t feel the same thrill from them like I had as a child. Maybe it’s because I had grown up. But I see other adult fans get just as excited. Maybe it’s because fan=fanatic, and I’ve mellowed out from being so devoted to a fictional world. Maybe it’s because these movies felt forced (no pun intended), and were going more for nostalgia rather than originality. The variety of unique and cool designs of starships and vehicles from the first 6 movies were one of their charms for me. The new ones were kinda boring, or rip-offs without adding anything interesting.
But the new Star Wars TV shows are more enjoyable. It’s noticeable how much love the creators have for the original franchise. The Mandalorian, the anime anthology, and now Kenobi.
Obi-wan Kenobi became my favorite Jedi/character since Episode I. Seeing the same actor now, and learning more of his story that happened between Episodes III and IV is amazing. Not to mention seeing Luke and Leia as children.
So while I may not be as big of Star Wars fan as I was since I was a kid*, I still love the franchise. The Star Wars experience at Disney World was very fun.
(*Since experiencing other “fandoms” and getting into Japanese anime, which opened a whole new world to me, my “fan level” is split across more franchises than when I was a child.)